The food truck craze continues to take America by storm, and this sizzling segment of the food industry has seen an exponential rise in revenue over the past few years. Outfitting a food truck properly is essential for success, but doing so while staying within budget can be tough. Consider these five steps from the experts at ACityDiscount to help you prepare your food truck kitchen.
Step 1: Plan your menu
Simple - yes. Essential - absolutely! Buying anything before you know your menu makes it difficult to shop for the equipment your truck needs. A truck serving pizza will have different needs than a truck serving sandwiches or smoothies. Once you know what items you will be offering, you'll be able to select exactly what types of prep, cooking, and refrigeration equipment are needed.
Step 2: Purchase your vehicle
A food truck is a mobile kitchen, and space is always an issue in a commercial kitchen. Even large vehicles have minimal space, so make sure to maximize use of each square foot available. Before purchasing equipment and retrofitting your vehicle, measure space and consider flow and function. Venting and cooling can also be a concern when space is minimal, which makes an adequate sized hood system indispensable. Measure twice, buy once - and always talk with the food truck experts at ACityDiscount for advice.
Step 3: Retrofit your vehicle
Before equipment is set and placed in a food truck, the truck must be retrofitted. Access to fuel / water, equipment stands, waste water tanks, and hoods need to be properly installed to ensure that the vehicle adheres to any and all codes, and is operational. Oftentimes, it is necessary to hire a professional to retrofit the vehicle properly.
Step 4: Buy equipment
Research the necessary restaurant equipment to make the food on your menu. Keep in mind, you will have to have power / water sources to keep your equipment running. Items that draw extensive power are not ideal in mobile food operations. No matter what type of menu you are serving, all food trucks will need prep tables or work areas of some kind, commercial refrigeration, storage areas, smallwares and at least one commercial sink.
Step 5: Get permits
Permits are an absolutely necessary part of the foodservice industry, even for food trucks. Some cities require that food trucks have one permit to operate within city limits, and others force owners to have a permit for each location they operate. Be sure you reach out to your locality's government to get any necessary permits and inspections before opening for business.